A Mother’s Day Story About Kindness, Hard Work, and 10 Children

From Sr. Mary Jo Hrnchir

My mother Clyta was from Missouri, and moved to Atwood Kansas in her teenage years. She was a hard worker for sure; she had 10 kids on the farm, so she had to be. We were wheat raisers on the farm plus cane, milo, corn, you name it. Still, she managed to keep a beautiful garden with all kinds of flowers.

She was a wonderful mother, that is all I can say. We had mulberry trees all over the yard, so we would pick them and clean them and mom would make pies out of it. She was just an excellent cook and homemaker. She was a great baker and I was always especially fond of her chocolate pie.

I came to Notre Dame when I was 14 years old, traveling by train. She would write me letters about the farm and what was happening with the family. I loved those letters because she wrote just the way she spoke, so it was just like talking with her. I kept one, the last one she sent to me.

Notre Dame is where I got to know the Sisters and decided I wanted to become a Notre Dame, as well. She let me make up my own mind about it, and was happy to allow me to make my own decisions. She came up to Omaha one time – for my entrance into religious life. She was happy to see me happy. In order to see her I went home to the farm every year.

What I remember most is her kindness, her wanting to do for other people all the time, not even just the family. She loved having grandkids and I could see how much joy they brought to her life. She would make them candy and put it in the mailbox for them to open, if they lived nearby. With so many grandkids and great grandkids and great nieces and nephews, I hope to see her name passed on eventually!